Can he still be my friend?
January 26, 2007
Dear Mrs. Sweetlady,
I just want to let you know that Ryland has been hurt a few times by Buddy. Yesterday he came home with a red spot on his right cheek. He said that Buddy pushed him and he fell on the snow. Buddy said that he didn’t mean to push him and it was an accident. One time, Buddy threw a snowball at Ryland and it hit him on the face. Buddy said it was an accident. There were also two other times when Buddy kicked Ryland on the hips and his thigh. Buddy said on both times that it was an accident. I told Ryland that if he gets hurt like that to tell you. But I think he doesn’t want his friend to get in trouble. I don’t know if Buddy didn’t really mean to hurt Ryland but I was wondering if you could please talk to him. If you want to talk to me personally, I’ll write down my phone number here.
Thank you very much,
I received a phone call from Mrs. Sweetlady, Ryland’s third grade teacher, that morning. She said that she had no idea that was happening. She talked to Ryland first to confirm what I had written. Then she talked to Buddy who admitted that yes, he had been rough. She said that Buddy cried. And I felt kind of guilty. I also didn’t want to get him in trouble but I didn’t want Ryland to tolerate that kind of behaviour.
I talked to Ryland the night before and told him that I had to tell his teacher how Buddy’s been treating him. He asked me if he could still invite Buddy to his birthday party which was coming up in two weeks. I told him that he could still invite him but he couldn’t let his friend, or anybody for that matter, treat him that way. Buddy has been Ryland’s best buddy in school since kindergarten. He has been over to our house quite a few times and I have met his parents who seem to be quite wonderful people. Buddy also seemed to be a nice boy. That is until he went to his home country over the summer. He came back after school already started and that was when Ryland started telling me how he had been hurting my poor boy.
I also mentioned this to Mrs. Sweetlady. I told her that I have been thinking that maybe he’s had a hard time adjusting to his home country. But I don’t know. It’s just my speculations. Why had he been treating his best buddy like that?
Mrs. Sweetlady told Buddy and the rest of her class that they should keep their hands and feet to themselves. And that they shouldn’t hurt each other physically or emotionally. She told me that she would also call Buddy’s parents and let them know of the situation. I was worried for Buddy because I also didn’t want him to get in trouble. But at the same time, I wanted to teach Ryland that he shouldn’t let his friends treat him badly, physically and emotionally.
When Ryland came home that afternoon, I asked him what happened after Mrs. Sweetlady talked to them. And how Buddy took it. He said, “We’re happy again.” I asked, “And he didn’t hurt you again?” He said, “No.” And then he added, “Mommy, can he still be my friend?” I said, “Of course. But if he hurts you and makes you feel bad, you have to tell him – and me.”
And of course, we still invited Buddy to his 9th birthday party.